Egypt state gas firm Egas has taken back UAE independent Dana Gas’ North El Arish block in the Mediterranean north of the Sinai after the concession expired at the end of 2021, MEES learns. The concession, awarded in late 2013, had an eight-year exploration period comprising three phases, starting with an initial four-year exploration period which came with a two-well drilling commitment – only one of which has been drilled.

After 2019’s Merak well turned up dry, Dana sought a farm-in partner to fund the estimated $95mn cost of a second commitment well, with the “huge Thuraya prospect” targeted (MEES, 11 June 2021). Having evidently failed to find a taker, Dana claimed in its recently-released Q1 results that it had requested an extension to the first exploration phase “under Force Majeure due to the unavailability of a drilling rig” (MEES, 13 May). With global deepwater drilling activity still way down on 2019 levels, this explanation looked unconvincing. (CONTINUED - 278 WORDS)